Is That An Ocean Under Pluto’s Icy Crust? A Colorado Spacecraft Finds Evidence

December 6, 2016
Photo:Pluto and Sputnik PlanumCourtesy NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)
The Sputnik Planum on Pluto is the heart-shaped icy formation at bottom.  

Images from the 2015 flyby of the New Horizons spacecraft provide evidence that a liquid, water ocean may still flow deep under the dwarf planet’s icy crust.  New Horizons' science mission is directed out of Boulder.  

Doug Duncan, director of the Fiske Planetarium in Boulder, spoke with Colorado Matters' host Ryan Warner.

Photo:Icy Mountains of Pluto(Courtesy of NASA-JHUAPL-SwRI)
Close-up images of a region near Pluto’s equator reveal a range of mountains rising as high as 11,000 feet.  The mountains are probably made of water ice.